Hope Family Vineyard is situated in California’s Paso Robles growing region, and received Sustainability in Practice certification in 2009.
“For us,” says third-generation farmer and winemaker Austin Hope, “it’s almost a lifestyle—being a good steward to the land and to the people who live and work on it.”
As Hope points out, the steps toward improving sustainability have to do more than enhance a press release; they must make the winery work better, too.
“We looked at what we were doing and what the [SIP] program called for,” Hope noted, “and realized we were pretty much there.”
Cover crops are allowed to grow between vineyard rows and then are tilled back into the soil, providing nitrogen and other nutrients, and reducing the need for chemical fertilizer. The use of harsh cleaning agents used in the winery has been reduced or eliminated. Smaller-than-typical pipes have been installed to limit water usage.
“We’re happy to be getting greener,” Hope added, “and glad to have gotten the SIP certification. But we don’t do things just to seem ‘green,’ or because everyone else is doing them. We do things because they make sense.”
Those visiting the Paso Robles region can make their own contribution to the “green” movement by visiting the downtown area’s local wine-tasting rooms… on foot.
In recent years, Paso Robles has absolutely exploded as a wine region, with two distinct “sides” (east and west), as well as an abundance of tasting rooms in the downtown area, very close to City Park and good restaurants.
Seven tasting rooms can be found along 12th and 13th Streets, between Spring Street to the west and Pine Street to the east. There also are three adjacent to the nearby Historic Train Depot.
It’s a walking wine lover’s paradise, and you can find help for planning your own walking tour here.